Los Angeles, CA

Osteria Mozza

Little Gem lettuces
with baby squash, walnuts, red onions & a vinagrette
Fiorentini with tomato & spicy pickled peppers

One of my closest friends was in town this past weekend and called about a month in advance to make a reservation at Osteria Mozza. I had only ever been to the pizzeria, which is delicious, so I was psyched. We had to wait around 30 minutes for our reserved table but the bar area was pleasant and fully stocked. We were then taken to the back area and the five of us were seated at a large round table, only the best kind for a group. Our waiter came out promptly and asked if we had any questions, so I dove in. I mentioned that I was vegan and asked what he recommended. He proceeded to go through the menu with suggestions and appropriate amendments. I ordered the Little Gem Lettuces which were exquisite. I originally ordered the gluten-free pasta to be prepared like the fiorentini, but the waiter came out of the kitchen to check if I had a gluten allergy or it was just preference, since the Fiorentini noodles were themselves vegan. I opted for the originals, it was most certainly a night to splurge. The serving sizes were perfect, large enough to indulge and satiate the palette, but small enough not to feel like you gorged yourself. This was one of the best pasta dishes I have had in a long time. It was sweet, spicy, savory and everything I had hoped. Throughout the meal our waiter kept checking in with me, making sure his ‘vegan buddy’ was doing alright and enjoying the meal. To say the least, I did!

I would definitely try another pasta with vegan amendments because I was so surprised and pleased with the one I got. It was such a treat to get an exotic dish vegan style. Most restaurants can make the adjustments but really don’t go so far as to create you one of their more creative dishes. It will be a while before I return since it isn’t so kind to the wallet, but it will be top on the list for a special occasion.

If you want a more accessible option try the pizzeria and their new 2 Go menu. They have wonderfully fresh salads, cheese-less pizzas, vegan appetizers and more. Oh, and let’s not forget the incredible vino selection.